Wagga sale 21 May 2018: Deteriorating season tests markets

Leann Dax, 22/05/2018

The deteriorating season across NSW is testing the cattle market by pushing bigger numbers into sale yards. Supplies jumped at Wagga in the Riverina which sold more than 5700 cattle.

There was increased numbers of lighter weight store conditioned weaners with over half the offering this week under 320kg. Price averages were affected by plainer quality and less competition. Aside from the lower live weight prices, farmers’ incomes were being hit with their lighter weight cattle being forced onto the market early due to the dry conditions.  This was evidenced by the fact prices fell 20-50c/kg with the average return for steers 200-280kg was just $604/head. The heifer portion sold from 144-250c/kg.

Even with a shortage of export cattle the sale lacked competition easing 14c/kg for bullocks. The cheaper trend was obvious at the commencement of the sale with only a few processors operating. . Bullocks were limited selling from 256-275c/kg. Top quality younger lines of heavy grown steers 500 -600kg to slaughter were unchanged making from 262-281c/kg.

Heavy heifers were more keenly sought by processors and prices were generally firm to 2c easier selling from 238-284c/kg.

The trade market struggled to find well finished cattle and to compete against the higher rates offered by feedlots. Medium weight grass finished steers were 4c cheaper, with domestic buyers paying to a top of 292c/kg.  Competition for trade heifers 400-500kg was solid and prices were generally firm to average 273c/kg.

Another market to experience a cheaper rates and erratic very trends was for feeder heifers where prices slipped 27c making from 210-279c/kg.  Medium weight feeder steer prices held up well due to the shrinking numbers. Rates eased back 3c selling at 248-306c/kg.

The cow market opened on a stronger note with rates 7-13c higher. Well finished cows sold from 188c-218c/kg.  Southern export companies competed against northern processors for the better finished leaner categories and a run of leaner cows made from 135-192c/kg. Ends…




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